Toyota, seemingly unhurt from its 2009-2010 recall debacles, is still gaining US market share and pushing certain models to capture niche markets. As we talked about in class, they are exercising product differentiation and specialization to gain market share. Coupled with a low cost structure, their vehicles are appealing to the public and doing so at an increasing rate.
Especially in states with high fuel prices (California in this case), it is obvious that consumers are moving toward fuel-efficient hybrids and plug-ins. The Prius hybrid is now the top selling car in California! An interesting study will be whether or not the move for fuel efficiency will have similar effects all across the country or not. Also, for how long will Toyota have the superior (mpg, affordability, etc.) hybrid and control the market? If the 40k Chevy Volt is the Detroit 3’s only competitor, Toyota may own the hybrid market for a while.